A 21-year-old Norwood woman has urged more people to become organ donors after receiving her second life-saving kidney transplant in five years.
In early 2017, then 17-year-old Nicole Bassett underwent her first kidney transplant after she was diagnosed with juvenile nephronophthisis.
Unfortunately for Ms Bassett, complications common in kidney transplant recipients ensued, and the young woman was forced to return to dialysis until a new kidney could be found.
Thankfully, in 2021 Ms Bassett received her second life-saving gift and is now looking forward to going back to work in the stockyards and completing her studies.
The journey for Ms Bassett has been long and complicated, further compounded by the pandemic and the need to travel to the mainland for surgery.
"The second one was definitely a lot different to the first one because the first one happened during non-COVID times," she said.
"COVID was basically running rampant in Melbourne, so trying to navigate our way through there was quite challenging.
"I was very, very lucky that I got the call when I did and that the kidney was a match that was as good as it was."
Despite the challenges, Ms Bassett said she is luckier than many others in need of organ transplants, and is particularly grateful to the families of her two donors.
"For me, particularly because I've had two transplants now, those two families are always going to be a part of me and are always gonna be my thoughts and prayers," she said.
Ms Bassett said every organ donated could save a life and urged people to become donors and have discussions with their families about donor consent.
"I would urge people to donate and become organ donors and even have that discussion with their families as well because some people want to donate but their parents or family don't know about their wishes and don't donate," she said.
"Those organs are basically going to waste instead of giving somebody a second - or even like me - a third chance at life."
DonateLife Tasmania executive officer Davin Hibberd said donating an organ, while often following a traumatic event, was a gift for both the recipient and the donor's family.
"We work closely with the family of the recipient and often the feedback we receive is the donation provided comfort, that something positive could come out of a sudden and tragic situation," he said.
Mr Hibberd said November 21 was DonateLife Thank You Day, a national day to recognise all Australians who make organ and tissue donation possible.
He said while the day was about recognising the people who donated their organs to save lives, it was also a time to thank the many staff, doctors, nurses and paramedics that made organ transplants happen.
Mr Hibberd said the best way for people to show their gratitude was to register as an organ donor.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Follow us on Google News: The Examiner
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.